Advocates for minority communities in Minneapolis are calling on the city to support the planned Southwest Light Rail line to Eden Prairie.
The groups say the project could bring economic opportunity to impoverished parts of the city.
A group of Twin Cities elected officials last month endorsed a plan to build light-rail tunnels through the city's popular Kenilworth Corridor. But Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges cast one of two dissenting votes, saying planners never seriously considered an alternative plan to reroute the freight line from Kenilworth to St. Louis Park.
Pastor Paul Slack, president of a coalition of churches called Isaiah, said Hodges should say "yes" to light rail.
"We want Mayor Hodges to truly stand up and step up for what she campaigned on -- for one Minneapolis, and putting equity at the center of her leadership," Slack said.
Minneapolis is at odds with the Metropolitan Council over a plan to bury part of the light rail line in shallow tunnels through the Kenilworth Corridor. The City Council voted in March to oppose the plan.
Slack said rather than trying to block the project, the city should negotiate for additional provisions to benefit north Minneapolis, including increased bus service to the light rail line.